NBL1 recap: 4/5 March 2023 - live streams, stats and more

Hemel Storm moved to the brink of winning their first-ever D1M title this weekend with another pair of wins.

Victories against Nottingham and Derby over the past few days have left them just a few results from claiming the regular-season title, though the current leaders will be out of action next weekend due to the upcoming final of the KitKing Trophy.

Hemel's successes formed part of nine games across the weekend, with key wins for Worthing, Bradford and others.

There's a recap of all the weekend's action below and each result is also clickable to view the live stats. 

Derby Trailblazers (15-5) 77-100 Hemel Storm (22-0)

Hemel made it a trio of successes on the season against Derby, coming out on top with a 100-77 road win in their latest meeting.

Few questions remain about the validity of Hemel's status at the top of the NBL pecking order in 2022/23, and with another W against a close rival, Coach Spinks' side are now just a few results away from claiming the D1M regular-season title.

Yesterday's win came courtesy of yet another standout effort from likely Player of the Year Aaryn Rai, who dropped 33 points to go with 18 boards. Closing with a 52 efficiency rating, something rarely seen across the NBL, the American more than made up for the absence of fellow star Taylor Johnson, who missed the weekend due to injury.

Hakeem Sylla added 26 points and nine rebounds in support for Storm, with Sam Newman adding a further 15 points. Derby captain Ryan Bruggeman provided 26 points for the hosts, as Raheem May-Thompson and Jonas Dieterich (12pts each) were the only other DTB players to make it to double-digits.

Second-place Worthing currently have five games remaining and should they win them all, the best the South Coast side can manage is 46 points. Hemel are currently on 44 points with four games left to play, though the head-to-head tiebreaker between the two sides is still yet to be decided. 

Elsewhere this weekend

Bradford Dragons (11-10) got the weekend underway with a commanding 98-60 win over Essex Rebels (7-14), thanks in part to an efficient 11-point, 11-rebound double-double from Rihards Sulcs plus a 34-8 second quarter.

Team Solent Kestrels (11-10) and Thames Valley Cavaliers (9-12) played out one of the games of the weekend, with TVC coming out on top 107-100 after a period of OT.

AJ Roberts' lay-up with three seconds remaining forced the extra frame for the hosts, allowing the Cavs to then move ahead and claim a valuable win in quest for a playoff spot.

Roberts would end with a 21-point, 10-rebound double-double as Bode Adeluola scored a team-high 26 points, cancelling out a 32/13 effort from Solent's Ricky Madison.

Manchester Magic (4-17) face an uphill battle to avoid potential relegation after a 73-54 home loss to fellow strugglers London Lions II (5-15).

Ten points apiece from Taiga Forster, Nedas Cholevinskas, Moziah King-Danchie and Tomide Akinsiku helped get the Lions over the line in the low scoring clash, giving the Londoners a two point cushion over Manchester, plus the head-to-head tiebreaker should the teams finish level at the end of the season.

Derby begin their double-header weekend with a narrow win over Team Newcastle University (10-10), with Malcolm Smith's 28 points helping the Trailblazers to seal an 88-82 victory.

Hemel had no problem playing without Taylor Johnson as 22 points apiece from Hakeem Sylla and Seth Swalve allowed Storm to see off  Nottingham Hoods (10-13) 110-87.

Worthing Thunder (18-3) brought a busy Saturday to a close with an 86-67 W over Westminster Warriors (2-19), with Ronald Blain's 13 point, six rebound, four assist outing keeping Thunder's push for second spot on track.

Sunday's schedule included three games, with Derby and Hemel mentioned above.

That leaves Reading Rockets (12-9) against Loughborough Riders (11-10), with the Rockets' top-four aspirations taking a blow following an 86-80 Riders' win.

Trailing by three going into the final quarter, Loughborough had enough in the tank to storm back for their eleventh win of the season, with young standout Victor Ndoukou contributing 19 points and four rebounds off the bench.

The final game of the weekend saw Thames Valley pick up their second win in as many days at the expense of Essex, with a 98-83 final score. Juan Manning and AJ Roberts both starred for TVC in that one, closing with 16 points each.

This weekend's fixtures:

Saturday 4 March

6:30pm - Essex Rebels 60-98 Bradford Dragons - LIVE STATS

6:30pm - Thames Valley Cavaliers 107-100 Team Solent Kestrels (After 1OT) - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM

7pm - Manchester Magic 54-73 London Lions II - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM

7pm - Hemel Storm 110-87 Nottingham Hoods - LIVE STATS

7:15pm - Derby Trailblazers 88-82 Team Newcastle University - LIVE STATS

7:30pm - Worthing Thunder 86-67 Westminster Warriors - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM

Sunday 5 March

4pm - Reading Rockets 80-86 Loughborough Riders - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM

4pm - Derby Trailblazers 77-100 Hemel Storm - LIVE STATS/LIVESTREAM

6pm - Thames Valley Cavaliers 98-83 Essex Rebels - LIVE STREAM